Clifford Chance partner duo to run London banking practice

Clifford Chance is set to elect two partners to replace London banking head Mark Stewart.

Acquisition finance partners Michael Bates and Rob Lee are expected to be confirmed in a partner vote that concludes today. They will assume the joint position next month and will report to global banking head Mark Campbell.

Stewart (pictured), who leaves Clifford Chance this month, has spent his entire career at the firm, becoming one of the best known names in the market for borrowers in acquisition finance. He unsuccessfully ran against London capital markets head David Bickerton in the election to succeed Jeremy Sandelson as London office chief (14 October 2009).

It is understood that the job-share proposal was mooted in order to allow Bates and Lee time to fee-earn.

A Clifford Chance source said: “We want to make sure they both give their full attention to clients. They’re at the height of their powers and they’re the new generation of Clifford Chance banking partners.”